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The Chrysler Windsor Car-Plane Hybrid


“Art cars” have annoyed many a car enthusiast, with their thousands of buttons or other objects glued onto the bad paint, destroying their appearance and utility in search of “art.” This 1953 Chrysler Windsor “hybrid” is quite different—less pretentious and more artistic.

1953 Chrysler Windsor hybrid car

Esterio Seguro’s Hybrid of a Chrysler (version with passport) was created in 2016 out of a 1953 Chrysler Windsor with foam, aluminum, and fiberglass. In these photos, it was displayed outside the University of Florida’s Harn Museum; it was there for at least two months, but appeared to be going on a slow tour of the country, and seems to always be parked outside. The melding of the wings to the car was well done, and the car itself was at least externally restored and protected from the elements.

Chrysler Windsor Hybrid with passport

Segura was 46 years old when he created the sculpture, now owned by Susie and Mitchell Rice. The Cuban Arts Group described it as “a symbol of the dreams to break free from the confines of an island, and a salute to the creativity and ingenuity of the people of Cuba.” Segura has converted other cars into submarines and combined airplane figures with hearts, along similar veins; there is a book on this particular sculpture.

Cuban art car

But what of the Windsor—the car itself? It was Chrysler’s base model, driven by the company’s somewhat dated 119 bhp straight-six engine (the V8 was launched in 1951 but hadn’t made it to the Windsor). The snazzy, luxurious car mostly used new sheet metal, with a newly sloping roofline adding to the basic 1951-52 look. It boasted Chrysler’s first single-piece curved windshield since 1937; a new optional true-automatic transmission (2-speed), the carryover M-6 semiautomatic, and the base manual three-speed.

The limousine-style rear door shows that this is an eight-passenger sedan. Riding on a longer wheelbase than the other Windsors (139.5 vs 125.5 inches), it weighed 300 lb more than the six-passenger sedan—just about two tons. It cost $702 more than the six-passenger, which weighed 3,655 lb and retailed starting at $2,577.

It doesn’t look that long, but it was 222 inches from bumper tip to bumper tip—11 inches longer than the other Windsors, and nearly two feet longer than the 2023 Chrysler 300. It was a comfortable car with a smooth ride, with fairly slow acceleration from the optional transmissions; power steering was optional despite the size, weight, and Chrysler badge.

Chrysler made 64,264 six-passenger 1953 Windsor sedans, but only just 425 eight-passenger sedans, all in the base series. This was a rare car even before it became art.

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